Among all dental procedures, root canal therapy is one of the most dreaded among patients. This procedure can be expensive and inconvenient. It does not help that popular culture has spread the notion that a root canal is painful.
While modern medicine has made root canal treatment quite painless, it is something you want to avoid. Good oral hygiene can help with this, but you may need to do more to care for your teeth.
What is a root canal?
If your tooth is damaged or decayed, it may develop holes that allow bacteria to burrow into the tooth. If they reach the center of the tooth, they can cause a severe infection. This infection usually comes with pain, swelling and bad breath.
A dentist performs a root canal to remove infected pulp tissue from the center of the tooth. If not removed, the infection can spread to other areas of the mouth as well as the body. The dentist will then fill the void and may place a crown on the tooth. This keeps the tooth protected from future infection.
In summary, the root canal helps to save an infected tooth since the only other option would be to remove the tooth. Sometimes, a tooth can be so badly infected that even the root canal procedure cannot save it.
How to avoid root canal treatment
Certain hygiene habits and activities may put you at risk of developing a tooth infection. As you now know, an infected tooth needs root canal therapy. By reducing your risk of infection, you will also reduce the likelihood of needing a root canal.
Maintain excellent oral hygiene and care
The most effective way to prevent an infection is to maintain an excellent oral care routine. Regardless of how busy you are, you should take your dental care seriously. Your oral care routine starts with brushing your teeth at least twice daily and flossing once per day. Also, you should get antibacterial mouthwash to reduce the bacteria present in your mouth.
Understand that it is not just about performing these tasks daily but doing them correctly. Use a toothbrush with soft to moderately hard bristles to gently brush your teeth. You also need to learn how to correctly floss so that your teeth can be completely free of debris that may cause decay.
Keep a healthy diet
You should eat healthy meals with plenty of vegetables, fruits and lean protein with low sugar and acid. The bacteria in your mouth feed on sugar to form plaque. Acidic food weakens your tooth enamel and makes it more vulnerable to bacterial infections. If you must have a sugary drink, using a straw can help reduce the amount of sugar that stays in your mouth.
Cut out bad habits
If you chew ice, bite your fingernails or any other hard objects, you can damage your teeth. These habits can form small cracks in your teeth that allow bacteria to enter. Even with proper brushing, the bacteria can still infect the tooth since the crack or chip gives them access to the pulp.
Keep up with your dental appointments
A root canal is often necessary after dental decay has worsened remarkably without treatment. By visiting the dental office every six months for your routine dental cleaning and checkup, you can keep track of any cavities that need treatment. This will ensure your situation never worsens to the point where a root canal would be the only way to save your tooth.
When did you last see a dentist?
If it has been some time since your last dental appointment, you may be at risk of developing an infection. Without treatment, you will eventually need a root canal to remove the pulp.
Make an appointment with our dental office to ensure your teeth are healthy.
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